France’s privatisation push with sale of national lottery stake

epa07852734 French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a statement after meeting with representatives of the French petrol industry at the finance ministry in Paris. France, 19 September 2019. The meeting is held to discuss the evolution of gasoline pricing. EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON

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The French government has launched its biggest wave of privatisations in more than a decade, kicking off the process with the sale of the majority of its stake in the national lottery monopoly.

President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business government wants to raise money to invest in technology that could give France an economic edge in the future.

But opposition figures on both the left and right are worried that the former investment banker’s privatisation push is akin to selling the family jewels.

The government aims to sell down its stake in the Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) lottery operator from 72% currently to 20% when the shares are due to begin trading on Nov. 21.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the initial public offering, one of the biggest in Paris in years, was drawing strong interest from investors at home and abroad.

According to the prospectus, the listing should raise up to 1.7 billion euros for the government, which it has earmarked for a 10 billion euro innovation fund and reducing the state debt burden.


Via France 24

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